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Saturday, December 20, 2014 3:23 PM

Evolution of YouTube: Will it Supplant Mainstream TV, Vanish, Evolve, or Languish?

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What will become of YouTube?

It started from nowhere about 10 years ago as an idea with no revenue and no content, then pretty quickly lots of content coupled with a plethora of copyright infringement lawsuits.

Today, YouTube gets 300 million hours of watching every day. Top content producers have millions of followers and make millions of dollars.

But where to from here?

New Play Button

The New York Times tackles that question in a fascinating story YouTube’s Chief, Hitting a New ‘Play’ Button.

The article is about Susan Wojcicki, the chief executive of YouTube, how she got her start, and in turn how Google got its start. Wojcicki was Google's 16th employee, and she is still with Google.

The Times notes Smosh, a pair of 20-something lip-syncing comedians, have roughly 30 million subscribers to their various YouTube channels. PewDiePie, a 24-year-old Swede who provides humorous commentary while he plays video games, has a following of similar size.

"Every day, one billion people around the world watch more than 300 million hours of videos on YouTube. In November, 83 percent of Internet users in the United States watched a video on YouTube, according to comScore. In contrast successful network television shows like 'NCIS: New Orleans' or 'The Big Bang Theory' average a little more than half that in weekly viewership."

I'm at the other end of the extreme. I watch very little TV. In fact, I have never even heard of 'NCIS' or 'Big Bang'

It's a fascinating success story for 46-year old Ms. Wojcicki, one of the most powerful media executives in the world.

Where To Next?

We can all speculate, but "where-to from here" is unknown. Not even Wojcicki knows.

Things are always changing. Part of being successful here is being comfortable with not knowing what’s going to happen,” said Wojcicki.

One thing for sure is that You-Tube will evolve. Expect more internet content, not less. Also expect  more forays by Google into TV-land material.

From what we have seen so far, Wojcicki is still the right person to lead the way.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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